Thursday, January 14, 2010

Capgras' syndrome

A while back we were having a discussion about government panels that might determine the limits of care for patients. (i.e. death panels) The discussion focused on how much is spent on patients in the last 6 months of their life. One of our pulmonologists who is on the liberal side had pontificated on how we spend so much resources keeping these people alive that he didnt think the panels were a bad thing. I expressed that these patients are usually spending their own resources as they had been the ones that paid into Medicare and their private insurance all these years and are getting their money back. They and their families are deciding how they want their money spent.

Our death panel pulmonologist now has his father in the neuro ICU after a massive stroke. He wants everything done, a trache, peg, longterm rehab vent unit. The works. I though I was having an acute attack of Capgras' syndome, but then remembered liberals what to decide on how to spend everyone's money except their own.


SeaSpray said...

Interesting how perspectives change when we actually have to walk the talk. True about their spending other's money.

"I though I was having an acute attack of Capgras' syndome, but then remembered liberals what to decide on how to spend everyone's money except their own."

After looking the syndrome up ..I cracked up! You're funny. :)

Andrew_M_Garland said...

A politician sees a warehouse full of wheat. He takes some of it to distribute to poor voters and prospective voters in his district. The warehouse will have to bear the burden. He is applauded for his sensitivity and charity.

The politician is dismayed at the consequence. Maybe the warehouse goes out of business, as people switch to using a warehouse that the politician doesn't see or can't tax. Or, the price of wheat goes up as the warehouse is not completely refilled. The politician ignores the people who paid for the wheat or were expected to buy it.

People complain that wheat is more expensive. The politician takes more of the wheat to subsidize the not-so-poor, to keep up his political support. Even less wheat appears in the warehouse, the price goes up again, and another group of people complain about the rising price.

The politician decides that the rich are making the price go up by buying too much wheat. He proposes a Wheat Allocation Board to decide how much wheat a person should get at the official, lower price. That board decides that politicians, state and federal workers, union members, and anyone granted a Wheat Buyer Card ("The Exempt Ones") can buy what they want. If others want more wheat, they can buy more by paying the 40% Wheat Tax on their extra wheat. Or, there are always oats available, which make a crumbly and dry bread, and cause some people digestive problems.

The amount of wheat falls further. The politician explains that the wheat farmers are at fault for not growing enough and charging too much, that the warehouse operators are causing shortages by not stocking enough wheat, and the rich must be cheating by continuing to buy too much wheat.

The answer is the Comprehensive Wheat Reform Act of 2010. It appoints 120 committees and boards to understand, control, and allocate all aspects of wheat production and consumption. Preliminary reports claim that the price of wheat will fall dramatically, now that the chaotic and inefficient market in wheat will be brought under comprehensive, organized, scientific, and rational management. The wheat farmers are called on to do their patriotic and humanitarian duty in cooperating with the government to finally provide wheat to everyone at a fair price. The selfish rich are told that they will be limited to a fair amount of wheat, regardless of their hard-to-justify wealth.

The Exempt Ones arrange for special deliveries of wheat to themselves subsidized at public expense, given their necessary and special contributions to the national welfare. They will need to remain impartial in deciding how much wheat the common man will receive, given that there may be a continuing and worsening wheat shortage, on a temporary basis.

SeaSpray said...

Andrew ..that was EXCELLENT!!!

The 40% tax on medical insurance blows me away and then that union members are exempt. ???

How is that not discrimination?

40%. That is so much for someone with a middle, middle income paycheck! And supposed to be passed on to the ins co, but we all know that will manifest through compromised insurance plans and higher prices. WHAT is wrong with these people in charge right now? Seriously!!! ???

And WHY don't they want to open up the state borders and let people shop for the best deals, because the competition will be an incentive for companies to offer better and more cost effective plans? Why don't they want to do tort reform? All these things seem so obvious.

Andrew ..if it's alright with you I may link to your comment.

And you'd think people would see through this stuff but they don't. They believe whatever comes along if they see a gain for themselves, without ever looking at the long term consequences or even verifying the facts.

We need a political revival in this country.

Andrew_M_Garland said...

To SeaSpray,

I'm glad you liked the analogy. It captures a bit of political and market reality. Of course, link to it as you wish.

SeaSpray said...

Thanks Andrew! :)

Not to get preachy - but when I was reading it a scripture came to mind ..although I don't recall which book it's from, but in it God says "My people perish for lack of knowledge."

I think he may've meant because of not knowing him, but think that wisdom could be applied in other areas as well.

Isn't that the truth though?

The government..particularly this administration would like to shut down the conservative voices,woo everyone with false promises and lies, get people dependent and grow government... and so much more.

Most people don't pay attention. Apathy/ignorance allows the steam roller to go through... or opportunities are missed.

This is a *sad* example and apples and oranges, but yesterday I saw on the news where a UN food truck went in with supplies and began handing out nutritious protein bars. But one of the men receiving it misunderstood the date and thought the 08 date meant the food was spoiled but that wasn't the expiration date. He started yelling out for people to refuse the food because it was bad and they all refused it or threw it down and stomped on it.

These hungry people destroying their first chance for getting some food/nutrition into them. They believed the man and didn't try to find out for themselves. They didn't get fed because the truck left because it was getting out of control and so they didn't get the water or other things either.

As I was reading your analogy also struck me how in so many different professions ..everyone wants to do their jobs efficiently and used to be able to ..but now there is so much red tape and all the things you describe that it's more expensive, complicated and stressful ..just to do *the thing* that needs to be done.

How did it get this way? And is there a solution? Rhetorical questions... unless someone has an answer.

Throckmorton said...


That is awesome!

Andrew_M_Garland said...

To Throckmorton,

Thanks for the great feedback.

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